“For a while Hollywood production codes dictated that actual drinking could not be shown on screen,” writes Daniel Okrent in his excellent book, Last Call. “So there was a lot of bottle pouring, glass holding, and back-to-the-camera chugging.” I read this and decided to work it into my next Roaring Twenties mystery. A minor detail, I know, but pretty good, don’t you think? He goes on, “A scholarly survey of 115 films released in 1929 established that drinking–virtually all of it illegal, of course–was depicted in 66 percent of them, more often than not favorably.”
Okrent also points out that at first, many in Hollywood supported the ban on alcohol and welcomed Prohibition, thinking that by closing down saloons, people would flock to movie theaters for entertainment. Didn’t work out like that. But it’s another tidbit that will make my historic fiction more realistic.